Jeb Bush formally announced his candidacy today. His speech was solidly conservative, and he delivered it competently. Much can be said about Bush’s candidacy, starting with the fact that his logo–Jeb!–doesn’t mention his last name. Of course, the Democrats haven’t forgotten; this is their latest fundraising pitch:
It appears that Jeb’s campaign and the Democrats agree on whether the Bush name will be an asset in 2016.
As noted, Bush’s speech was solidly conservative. No Republican will argue with this:
Already, the choice is taking shape. The party now in the White House is planning a no-suspense primary, for a no-change election. To hold onto power. To slog on with the same agenda under another name: That’s our opponents’ call to action this time around. That’s all they’ve got left.
And you and I know that America deserves better.
They have offered a progressive agenda that includes everything but progress. They are responsible for the slowest economic recovery ever, the biggest debt increases ever, a massive tax increase on the middle class, the relentless buildup of the regulatory state, and the swift, mindless drawdown of a military that was generations in the making.
But all of the Republican candidates have introduced themselves to the base with impeccably conservative words. There is no liberal wing in the Republican party, just as there is no conservative wing in the Democratic party. So we fall back on nuances, some of which Paul has noted.
I do want to call attention to this part of Bush’s speech:
So many challenges could be overcome if we just get this economy growing at full strength. There is not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of four percent a year.
And that will be my goal as president – four percent growth, and the 19 million new jobs that come with it.
While most will not recognize it, this is an echo of Jeb’s brother. The George W. Bush Institute sponsors the 4% Growth Project: “If the economy grew at 4% per year, we would create 10 million additional jobs during the next decade, returning the economy to full employment through growth alone, with no rise in government spending.” A few years ago, I attended the inaugural session of the 4% Growth Project at the Bush Institute in Dallas, and reported on it here.
I think Jeb’s commitment to a 4% growth rate is one of the best things about his candidacy (although he shares a pro-growth agenda with most of the field), but maybe it is a disservice to remind Democrats that this particular plank in his platform is taken straight from his brother’s playbook.
We will have much more to say about Bush’s candidacy, along with those of the other Republicans, in the weeks to come. For now, don’t miss Paul’s take on today’s speech.